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Mountaineering Council objects to windfarm near Dingwall

David Gibson, MCofS Chief Officer

David Gibson, MCofS Chief Officer

A wind farm proposed near Ben Wyvis in Easter Ross would be “an unacceptable escalation of wind farm development in the area” – in the view of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS), which has lodged an objection with Highland Council planners to the Woodlands Wind Farm proposed for a site between two hills near Dingwall, adjacent to the Ben Wyvis massif.

ABO Wind UK Ltd has applied for consent to construct five wind turbines, three of 125m blade-tip height and two of 110m blade-tip height, at Woodlands Farm, Dingwall. While of limited impact on views from the summit plateau of Ben Wyvis, the turbines would have a significant impact on views to the iconic Munro, which, uniquely on the east coast, rises straight from the sea to over 900 metres.

MCofS Chief Officer David Gibson said: “Placing large vertical structures with moving blades between the very strong horizontal line of the coast and the undulating form of the ridges on the Ben Wyvis massif would introduce an intrusive and thoroughly discordant visual element into the landscape.

“That impact is completely unacceptable.

“We have also taken into account the fact that there is already an operational turbine at Dingwall with 3 more approved in the same area as the Woodlands proposal and another at Culbin Farm which is at the scoping stage.”

Mr Gibson said: “This application is an acceleration of that process of development, increasing the number of turbines applied for and increasing their size. If approved, this is something that other
developers would undoubtedly seek to exploit, given that there are no clear plans in place for the eventual number of wind farms or turbines to be permitted here, or anywhere else in Scotland.

“The MCofS is generally supportive of the Government’s commitment to increase the production of energy from renewable resources, including onshore wind, and we have objected to relatively few proposals. However, we have major concerns at the increasing demands that proposals for wind farms are making on Scotland’s highland landscapes.”

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